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Mobility, Networking Highlight Interop Product Launches

This week's Interop conference in Las Vegas will feature more than 450 exhibitors, and among them are some of the biggest technology players in the networking and wireless industries. The first batch of news announcements slated for Monday focus on several key areas: transformation of the branch office, mobility, network security, and next-generation networks.

Avaya rolled out the Distributed Office, a new IP telephony communications system for branch offices. With the system, employees get features like "click to conference" and integrated instant messaging for instant communication with others. They also can forward incoming office calls to their mobile phone and not be tethered to a desk while waiting for important calls.

The Distributed Office product can be customized for the individual business location and comes with centralized management tools that allow the IT staff to control the entire branch office's network from a single interface. Centrally managing a network can reduce on-site technician time and cut operating costs, Avaya said.

Citrix Systems announced the availability of WANScaler, its new software-based wide area network optimization client for mobile employees working outside branch offices. WANScaler is installed as both an appliance at each branch office and as a software client on each user's PC. Employees can access business applications from any location and get good performance even when they're working remotely, according to the company.

Citrix said it made other improvements in application delivery by adding several new capabilities to the WANScaler appliance line, including better quality of service for highly interactive applications and an expanded network interface to support complex enterprise networks. The WANScaler client and the new capabilities will be commercially available in WANScaler version 4 this June. The client will cost from $50 to $170 per user depending on the size of the deployment. The WANScaler appliance starts at $5,000.

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